Valley Fig Growers

Fig Mexican Pulled Pork Taco Recipe

Pulled pork, cooked in a Mexican mole, on a weeknight? In a bold move, we developed a dish that shattered cooking assumptions: first, that heftier meat cuts, such as pork butt, aren’t for weeknight meals; second, that a rich mole requires a laundry list of ingredients. Employing a slow cooker to tenderize tough but richly flavored pork butt over the course of a day gave us succulent meat in time for dinner. To give our pulled pork an equally rich sauce, we created a complex mole quickly by deploying just the right pantry staples: chili powder, cumin, chipotle chiles, canned tomato sauce for acidity, and—for just the right sweetness—figs. Pork and fig recipes are readily available, but you’ve never tasted anything like this. Once the pork was cooked through, we removed it and blended the sauce to give it the perfect consistency. A little lime juice and cilantro at the end balanced the flavors and completed this Mexican pulled pork taco recipe. Pork butt roast is often labeled Boston butt in the supermarket. Serve with guacamole, sour cream, chopped onion, chopped cilantro, thinly sliced radishes, and lime wedges. We prefer to make this recipe with Black Mission figs, though golden can be substituted.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup dried Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, stemmed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 (3-pound) boneless pork butt roast, trimmed
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (2 limes)
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed

Directions

  1. Combine tomato sauce, figs, chili powder, cumin, chipotle, and garlic in 5½- to 7-quart slow cooker. Slice pork crosswise into 4 equal pieces, trim excess fat, and season with salt and pepper. Nestle pork into slow cooker, cover, and cook until pork is tender, 9 to 10 hours on low or 6 to 7 hours on high.
  2. Transfer pork to bowl and let cool slightly. Using 2 forks, shred into bite-size pieces, discarding excess fat. Using large spoon, skim excess fat from surface of mole sauce.
  3. Process sauce in blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Stir in cilantro and lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. (Adjust sauce consistency with hot water as needed.) Stir 2 cups sauce into shredded pork. Serve with warm tortillas and remaining sauce.

Recipe & photo from Cook’s Country by America’s Test Kitchen